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British Viewing Habits

The research shows Great Britain is a nation of interactive TV users, and the idea of the passive viewer is fading fast, with much of the population going online while watching TV.

The research showed:
•   Nearly 70 percent of online British adults who watch television (69 percent) go online while doing so, with 21 percent of 16-24 year olds always using the Internet while watching TV
•   More adults who surf the web for content related to what they’re watching on TV are searching for products which appeared in the show (30 percent) than products advertised during programming (27 percent)
•   There is a healthy appetite for full length film, TV shows and sporting events online, with 19 percent of all online adults typically watching such content online
•   News (27 percent) and comedy (22 percent) lead the way for the types of video and television content being watched online

Multitasking nation

The results from the survey revealed the nation wants to find out more about what they’re watching, while watching it. Nearly 70 percent of online British adults who watch TV go online when watching television at some point, with 21 percent of 16-24 year olds always going online while watching TV.

Interestingly, even the Golden Oldies of Great Britain also ‘two time,’ with 50 percent of Silver Surfers aged 55 years old and up going online while watching TV.

Influence of advertising

The results also gave insight into the difference between consumers’ reaction to programmed advertising and products used during the shows. Of those online and surfing the web for related content whilst watching TV, 30 percent search for products or services which appeared in the programme they were watching.

The results for those searching for products advertised during the programming were slightly lower however, with 27 percent of viewers looking for advertised products.

Healthy appetite for content

Industry watchers will not be surprised to hear that the advent of TV and video content online is being readily accepted. Fifty-one percent of online British adults are watching such content online, which is encouragingly high, with one in five (19 percent) watching full length TV shows, movies or sporting events online.

Who is watching what?

When looking at the content being watched, there is an intriguing gender split – although few will be surprised that more men are watching sports (27 percent) than women (8 percent). However, when it comes to current affairs, more men (31 percent) are regularly watching news online than women (22 percent).

Finally, it seems the younger generation have a healthier sense of humour online, with 34 percent of 16-24 year olds watching comedy content online, against just 16 percent of those over the age of 55.

“It’s interesting to see that Internet surfing is now challenging the way we watch television,” said Suranga Chandratillake, founder and CEO, blinkx. “The U.K. no longer wants to be a nation of passive viewers. They want to find out as much information as possible, and want to discover this through the Internet at the same time as they are watching the content on the television.”

About the Survey

Harris Interactive® fielded the online survey on behalf of blinkx between February 13 and February 18, 2008 among nationwide cross-sections of 2,471 adults aged 18+ in the United States and 2,228 adults aged 16+ in Great Britain. The Great Britain data were weighted to be representative of the total G.B. adult population on the basis of region, age, sex, education, and income. The U.S. data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, and race/ethnicity. Both sets of data were weighted to be representative of the population of online adults in each country.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys.

Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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